[I]n January 2013, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania switched a couple’s joint-custody arrangement to giving sole custody to the father. The child was just about to start kindergarten. The trial took only two days.

Childcare Plan Helped Father Gain Custody

  • The father remained in the house; the mother moved four times.
  • The mother moved to a different school district.
  • Without addressing specifics, the father sought counseling/therapy while addressing his mental health issues.
  • The father investigated the school district for programs for special needs students, available child care facilities, and therapeutic counseling for their child.
  • Father advocated co-parenting counseling so he and the child’s mother could work out family disputes in private.
  • Father demonstrated concern for his child’s need for routine, in light of his Asperger’s Syndrome.

The Mother Presented an Emotional Past, Not a Plan for the Future

  • Mother focused on her past role as stay-at-home parent while married to father.
  • Mother criticized father’s child care plans but did not present a more organized plan of her own.
  • Mother presented no evidence of her ability to transport the child to and from his existing school district.

Mother also claimed the court ruled against her due to her religious practices, which the father testified included consuming alcohol in front of children, and involved persons possessed by spirits. The court ruled in his favor.

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While this report only gives a glimpse into the reasons for the court’s final decision, it reveals a lot with regards to strategies on how a father can win custody. The father went in with a plan, and did his homework to demonstrate how he could work it out.

Conversely, the Mother Made the Tactical Errors of:

  • Criticizing the father’s childcare plan,
  • Without offering a workable alternative,
  • Looked back as the child’s stay-at-home caregiver instead of thinking forward.

While the mother focused on the past and failed to show her worthiness as the better parent, the father showed he was the one ready to make a future with his child. This concept goes right in line with the post What Does a Judge Look for in a Child Custody Case?.

What stands out in this story? What was important in your custody case?

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